Esteghlal eliminated from AFC Champions League

May 7, 2019

TEHRAN – Esteghlal football team of Iran failed to book a place at the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16.

On Monday, the Iranian team were held to a 1-1 draw by Al Duhail of Qatar in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium in Group C.

Esteghlal defender Roozbeh Cheshmi pounced on the loose ball to fire home from close range in the 54th minute but the hosts’ joy was short-lived as Al Duhail fired back instantly after resumption of play. Ali Afif exchanged passes with Almoez Ali down the left flank before crossing for El Arabi. Esteghlal goalkeeper Hossein Hosseini was first to the ball, but his clearance only went as far as Edmilson and the Brazilian converted the second ball into the back of the net to bring the game back to square one.

With the draw, Al Duhail advance to the round of 16 with a game to spare. The Qatari side have eight points to their name and hold a superior head-to-head record against both Esteghlal and Al Ain, meaning neither of the two sides can catch them. The result also confirms Al Hilal SFC’s progression to the next round.

Matchday Six will see Al Duhail hosting Al Hilal to decide the group leaders, while Esteghlal’s trip to Al Ain will be merely for bragging rights.

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